I’m afraid of people. I had genital reassignment surgery ten years ago and I’m afraid of getting to know new people because I’m afraid they’ll reject me (or physically attack me) once they know, even though I figure everyone at least suspects it immediately anyway. It’s very hard to meet people and I’ve been alone for such a long time.
3 / 22
Amanda Williams is a Chicago-based artist who explores cultural identity and the politics of race and urban space through her collaborative projects, public installations, painting, and photography. I photographed her in South Side, Chicago, with a house she painted and named Newport 100s. She’s been taking abandoned houses on vacant lots and sheathed them in solid colors reminiscent of the black experience in what remains a fragmented city.
4 / 22
I’m afraid of not being loved or cared for.
5 / 22
Artist, poet, and Facebook troll.
6 / 22
I photographed John in a motel on a cold night in Laramie, Wyoming. Like many of the portrait subjects I choose, he was at a point of transition. This is what he wrote to me:
"I am emerging from a crossroads period of my life, where I fought to really find a core identity following the healing of a long-term condition. As a part of this, I found that my female personality clashed with my male gender. Up to this point, I had played at crossdressing, mostly at Halloween and such. However, this year, I decided to continue after the end of October. It represents both my gender and my personality, therefore it is my entire being."
7 / 22
8 / 22
I’m afraid of death. Dying in pain. My brother was killed in an accident when I was twelve. His spirit stayed in our house for over a month before he could really go and I have many memories of things that happened after he died. Since then, I’ve been very much aware of my own existence and death. My mom died of cancer five years ago and I cared for her and saw her go away. Her last breath, her pain, is in my memories too. I know it will happen to everybody and that we can’t know how or when. So I’m afraid of dying and not living all I could. Not accomplishing what I want, not falling in love…
9 / 22
I’m terrified of loving him uninhibitedly, and either falling short or overwhelming him with my excessive and unusual ways.
10 / 22
Joe & Abigail, a polyamorous couple seeking a partner in Denver.
11 / 22
I’m afraid of ending up with a mediocre life. I’ve always dreamed of mystery, greatness, adventure, and metamorphosis, but I’ve lived with depression and anxiety for some time now and it holds me back from figuring out who I truly want to be, deep inside. I tend to lack motivation, even for things I really want. It’s a daily struggle to remain focused on the actions I can take now to ensure a better future. Perhaps slowly, I am improving the way I think. I have to constantly focus on the direction I want to go, the world I want to create, the person I want to be.
12 / 22
Only time will tell - w4m
From the moment I met you I knew that I needed you in my life. I’ve never been a very romantic person. My mind is ruled by logic. So when I think in my head “he’s the one” I feel like a lunatic. But there is this voice that keeps whispering these crazy ideas in my ear.
It’s true you have your issues and insecurities. It’s true that you apologize to me way too often and call me when you’re drunk. But those things are not bad things. They are simply facets of your character that engage me even more. Your intelligence, kindness, wit, honesty, vulnerability, compassion and loyalty keep me wanting you everyday.
You’re not in a place yet where you can be in a relationship and I understand that. I just hope with all my heart that when you are ready I can leave this realm of unrequited feelings and we can finally be together.
I’m writing this not because I want you to see this but because I had to do something with all of this emotion. I couldn’t keep it inside of my body any more. It was eating me up. I guess sharing with strangers is better then suffering in silence.
13 / 22
I fear hurting or losing people I love, I fear failure. Growing up, I feared both motherhood and being a housewife, until I realized I was not required to do either. Like many 30-something single women, I fear I won’t find a partner.
I fear I’ve missed opportunites that won’t come back. I fear I’ll never figure out what it is I need to do to be content. I fear there’s not enough years in a human life for everything I’d like to do, and that I’ve not been making any progress on such things lately anyway. I fear I’m wasting precious time.
14 / 22
Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo and Mecky Reuss, who make up the Mexico City design firm Pedro & Juana, are obsessed with texture. On a shoot for Architect magazine, I asked them for a source of inspiration and they took me to the distribution center where all produce enters this city of nine million. The repetition of form in the labyrinth of food crates is echoed in some of their work, as they often take cues from often unexpected places.
15 / 22
Andrea Lucarelli is an architect in Phoenix.
16 / 22
Inga Saffron, architecture critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
17 / 22
John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and author, at his home in Seattle.
18 / 22
Doug Patt, architect, at Bethlehem Steel in Pennsylvania.
19 / 22
Sharon Samuels, award-winning architect in Chicago.
20 / 22
Brian Phillips at The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.
21 / 22
I’m afraid of living a life of insignificance. Of not making an impact or a difference on others.
22 / 22
Andrew Goodwin, editor of PUBLIC Journal and lecturer at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California.